Thursday 8 December 2016

Micko and McGeeney back in Kildare fold for cancer charity clash

Published 29/05/2015 | 02:30

Former Kildare managers Mick O’Dwyer (pictured) and Kieran McGeeney return to Lilywhite-land tomorrow for the SMART Against Cancer charity football match at Sarsfields GAA club in Newbridge (Sportsfile)
Former Kildare managers Mick O’Dwyer (pictured) and Kieran McGeeney return to Lilywhite-land tomorrow for the SMART Against Cancer charity football match at Sarsfields GAA club in Newbridge (Sportsfile)

Former Kildare managers Mick O'Dwyer and Kieran McGeeney return to Lilywhite-land tomorrow for the SMART Against Cancer charity football match at Sarsfields GAA club in Newbridge.

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It's a joint initiative between four top Kildare clubs, Sarsfields, Moorefield, Round Rowers and Allenwood, who have come together to help in the battle against cancer. It's an enterprising venture, which should draw wide support across Kildare.

Members of the Kildare teams, captained by Glenn Ryan, that won Leinster senior titles in 1998 and 2000 will be in action, as well as McGeeney.

Special playing guests from outside the GAA world include champion jockey Ruby Walsh and former Ireland striker Niall Quinn. O'Dwyer, who spent two stints as Kildare manager (1991-94 and 1997-2002), will keep a watching brief on proceedings.

His second term as manager proved successful as Kildare ended a 42-year wait for the Leinster title in 1998 and was followed with another crown two years later. However, the All-Ireland eluded Kildare, who twice lost to Galway in the 1998 final and 2000 semi-final.

Tomorrow's entertainment gets under way at 2.30 with special family fun events while the game will start at 6.0. It's also planned to make a special 50th anniversary presentation to the Kildare U-21 football team of 1965, which won the All-Ireland title in what the second year of the competition.

Fifty years later, Kildare are still waiting for their second title.

The 1965 team was captained by Pat Dunney, and also included such well-known names as Pat Mangan, Tommy Carew and Ollie Crinnigan. Kildare beat Cork by seven points in the All-Ireland final.

Meanwhile, the countdown continues to Kildare's entry to the Leinster senior championship, which takes place tomorrow week when they play Laois in O'Connor Park, Tullamore.

It's a huge game for the squad and manager Jason Ryan following relegation from Divisions 1 to 3 in successive seasons.

Kildare lost five of their seven Division 2 games this year, but will be encouraged by their three-point win over Laois, who finished a point clear of the relegation zone.

Laois already have a championship game behind them, easily beating Carlow in the first round.

Irish Independent

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